A communications mogul (Price) sets up a communications satellite monopoly, which, unlike DeBeers and other monopolies, is allowed to operate in the United States. To further his power, Price is creating news and having the stories ready as the news happens. His ultimate goal is to start World War III and control all communications afterwards. He will do this by using his armada of communications satellites which will broadcast to a dying world where electromagnetic pulses have rendered televisions inoperable. Oh, I guess he didn't think far enough ahead.
Utilizing the common man's (or should I say scriptwriter's) lack of understanding Geo-Positional Satellites (GPS) he convinces a warship that it is in neutral territory and not in Chinese-controlled waters. Then, utilizing a stealth boat made possible by the theft of some stealth skin (you know, that ultra expensive stuff that becomes completely useless if it gets even slightly damp) and steals a cruise missile. Bond is aided by a Chinese agent (Michelle Yeoh) and they go to Viet Nam where the sunken ship is (oh, didn't they say it was sunk in Chinese waters?). There they confront many bad guys and helicopters that can hover sideways and whose blades can repeatedly chop through buildings with no bad effects.
OK, so the plot, if it can be called that, has a few problems. But it is an action film and plots in action films have less importance than how far the hero can fall. The bad plot is not necessarily because Ian Fleming did not write the story. After all, he did write DOCTOR NO about the madman trying to corner the guano market (the studio gave the madman nuclear capabilities and cut the guano completely from the story). But the movie is fun, nonetheless, with many great lines. While I can't say much for the new Moneypenny, the new M is fantastic.
Bond is caught snooping in the villain's lair, but makes his escape despite the efforts of many guards (who are of various races for this equal opportunity employer, and also recalls Bond's enemies from past films). A former lover of Bond's is murdered (as in "Goldfinger"). The killer in the hotel room looks like he was recycled from "Doktor Strangelove". The car chase in the indoor parking lot recalls "Diamonds Are Forever", but is more spectacular. The skydiving to the wrecked ship recalls other films. Bond and Wai Lin (the female Chinese operative) are caught and brought before Eliot Carver (another recurring scene from Fleming's novels). The villain never delegates these tasks. Their escape shows the product placement of BMW and Land Rover (and reminds me of a Jackie Chan film). They escape the Heckler & Koch MP-5 firing villains. The attack scene in the shop recalls another Jackie Chan film, with its choreographed ballet of action. [Could this ever happen in the real world?] I suspect the scenes in Asia were for that market of film viewers.
The final scene in the "stealth boat" recalls many earlier Bond films. But Eliot Carver seems to be lacking in a villainous character, unlike the classic Bond villains. [Imagine Pee Wee Herman as Goldfinger?] The ending is full of sound and fury, symbolizing the defeat of the villain, his henchmen, and the Plan for World Domination. The earlier Bond films seemed to have had wittier dialogue. The most surprising thing about this film is its villain: a powerful businessman in the Free World, not a parvenu who attacks one of the British Monopolies and has links to the Soviets or the ChiComs.